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Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators and courts telling them to uphold parental rights.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — In Ontario, school library books published prior to 2008 began disappearing from Peel District school library shelves as part of an “equity-based,” “inclusive” initiative. The province’s education minister has since walked back the process following public outcry.  

On September 13, tenth grader Reina Takata revealed that the Erindale Secondary School library is nearly empty this fall after books published before 2008 were removed under Peel District School Board directives. 

“This year, I came into my school library and there are rows and rows of empty shelves with absolutely no books,” Takata told the Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation (CBC).   

The CBC report noted that amongst the many scrapped books are Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and Takata estimates that about 50% of the school’s library books are gone.  

The previous spring, Takata says students were told by staff that, “If the shelves look emptier right now, it’s because we have to remove all books [published] prior to 2008.”  

“I think that authors who wrote about Japanese internment camps are going to be erased and the entire events that went on historically for Japanese Canadians are going to be removed,” she said. “That worries me a lot.” 

According to CBC, Takata is only one of several Peel District School Board (PDSB) students, parents, and community members who have expressed concern about the new “equity-based” book weeding process. The local citizens have since formed a group called Libraries not Landfills.  

“Who’s the arbiter of what’s the right material to go in the library, and who’s the arbiter of what’s wrong in our libraries? That’s unclear,” questioned Tom Ellard, founder of Libraries not Landfills.  

“It’s not clear to the teachers who’ve provided us this material, and it’s not clear to me as a parent or as a taxpayer.” he added. 

Dianne Lawson, a member of Libraries not Landfills, revealed The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank was removed from shelves along with children’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

“I can’t find any sedition in it, or any reason why you would pull this book,” Lawson said, referring to the Eric Carle picture book.   

The initiative was started last spring in response to a provincial directive from the Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. 

Lecce has since issued a statement condemning the removal of the books and calling on the school board to immediately stop the process.  

“Ontario is committed to ensuring that the addition of new books better reflects the rich diversity of our communities,” said Lecce.  

“It is offensive, illogical, and counterintuitive to remove books from years past that educate students on Canada’s history, antisemitism, or celebrated literary classics,” he added.  

According to internal documents viewed by CBC on the weeding process, teacher librarians were told to primarily review books published in 2008 or earlier. Librarians were instructed to examine whether the books “promote anti-racism, cultural responsiveness and inclusivity.” 

They were to further examine whether the books and other resources reflect “student diversity.” If the books were deemed unfit to be in the library, they were to be removed from schools.   

On September 13, the Peel District School Board released a statement claiming that the board had not directed books prior to 2008 to be removed, and that The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and the Harry Potter series should remain in “our collections.” 

“The weeding and seeding, or replenishment, of school book collections has always been a part of the responsibilities for all teacher librarians within Peel District School Board and at school boards across Canada,” the statement continued. “The replenishment process significantly enhances the school libraries’ capacity to offer a more precise, inclusive, culturally relevant, and responsive collection of texts for students.” 

The removal of the books has been roundly condemned by Canadians on social media, including Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre. 

“Authoritarian wokeism is a growing threat to our freedom,” Poilievre wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We must fight back to stop the censorship and restore free expression.”  

Culture wars over school library books and reading assignments in the U.S. and Canada have heated up in recent years as leftists have pushed to ban classics like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Meanwhile, the left maintains that sexually explicit books like Gender Queer and All Boys Aren’t Blue ought to be widely available in public school libraries, regardless of parental objections.  

Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators and courts telling them to uphold parental rights.